Brent Savage, of Bentley Restaurant and Bar, talks about Australian cuisine.

How has your heritage affected your cooking?

I grew up in the Blue Mountains where we grew a lot of our own produce, so I try to incorporate ingredients unique to Australia. Some ingredients that I like to work with are macadamias, finger lime and Murray River pink salt.

Why is this dish representative of Australian food/cuisine?

This dish features some of the local produce that I love working with such as the macadamias. The lamb which is sourced from South Australia is a great representation of the quality of our produce. Australians love to eat lamb!

How closely will you be following the World Cup?

It is definitely an exciting time of the year! Although I spend most of time in the kitchen, the vibe is always infectious. It is always the topic of conversation, and everybody keeps a close eye on the scores "¦ not to mention the bets!

Is food or football more important to Australian people?

As a chef, I would like to think that food is more important! But I could be wrong. I certainly enjoy kicking back and watching the Socceroos!

If you could cook a meal for one of your nation’s football heroes, past or present, who would it be and why?

I like Mark Schwarzer. The role of being a goalie is often underestimated, so cooking a meal for him would be great.

This interview is part of a series on chefs representing each of the countries in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.






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Slow cooked lamb

6 lamb rumps

60 ml extra virgin olive oil


Kipfler potatoes and zucchinis
300 g kipfler potatoes, peeled
20 g butter

30 ml olive oil

6 zucchini flowers


Macadamia puree
200 g macadamias, roasted
150 ml milk
20 ml sherry vinegar
3 garlic cloves, roasted

½ lemon (juice)
30 ml vegetable oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Slow cooked lamb
Pre-heat a large pot of water to 63°C. Trim any excess sinew off the lamb. Sprinkle with salt and place into individual vacpak bags dividing the olive oil between them, then seal. Place bag into the water, and cook for 3 hours. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Remove from pot and take lamb out of bags. In a frying pan, sear the lamb, fat side down. Place in oven for a further 4 minutes. Remove and rest in a warm place, ready to serve. 

Kipfler potatoes and zucchinis
Cut the potatoes into 1 cm thick pieces cross ways. Warm the butter and half the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the petals from the zucchini flowers and set aside. Cut the remaining zucchini into quarters, cross ways. In a small saucepan sauté the zucchini with the remaining olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Keep both zucchini and potatoes in a warm place ready for serving.

Macadamia puree
In a medium saucepan, cook the macadamias in the milk on a low heat for 20 minutes. Transfer to an upright blender, and add remaining ingredients. Blend until a smooth puree has formed, then pass through a fine sieve. Season with salt. Set aside in a warm place ready to serve.

Parmesan crumbs
Pre-heat the oven to 160°C. Rub the butter and flour together to form a short pastry. Combine the grated parmesan and macadamias, then place between 2 sheets of baking paper. Roll out to ½ cm thickness and place in the oven for 16 minutes until crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Break into large crumb pieces. 

To plate
Spread the macadamia puree across the plate. Slice the lamb rump into 4 pieces and place around the plate scattering zucchini and kipfler potatoes in between. Garnish with zucchini flowers and parmesan crumbs. Finish with a 50 ml drizzle of lamb jus.